Greetings from Marti Pieper in Florida, where fall comes without colored leaves and only sometimes with cooler temperatures! We’re presently grateful for nights when we can open windows and leave the air conditioning off, even though temperatures still climb into the ’80s during the day.
Where today’s featured author lives, however, the temperatures are considerably cooler year-round. I got to know Grace Fox through CAN and through another author’s group to which we both belong. I’ve long admired her ability to use her words to touch hearts and change lives. Let’s take time to catch up with her now.
Welcome, Grace, to the CAN blog. Can you please tell us about your latest book?
It’s an 11-week Bible study titled Forever Changed. It’s based on the premise that our thoughts shape our beliefs, beliefs influence behavior, and behavior determines our destiny. Aligning our thoughts with truth, then, is vital for life transformation. I wrote it for “First Place 4 Health”—for people wanting to improve their well-being specifically through weight loss—but anyone can use it whether or not they’re involved in a FP4H small group. Available at First Place 4 Health.
I love that! Now, tell us about your next project.
I’ve submitted a proposal for a 90-day devotional. It features short meditations that offer a sip of cold water to a thirsty soul that’s either too busy, too distracted, or too distraught to focus on longer readings.
Sounds like a winner to me. Why did you write Forever Changed?
I used to think I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and that I could exercise “later.” Those beliefs influenced my behavior, and my behavior determined my destiny: I became obese. In 2014, I suffered two leg injuries that resulted in mobility loss for three months. Recovery took two years and required surgery and physiotherapy along the way.
A ministry called “First Place 4 Health” (FP4H) played a significant role in helping me regain my health. One of the keys was participating in a weekly online Bible study. As I studied God’s Word, the Holy Spirit showed me patterns of wrong thinking. He helped me understand that my body is God’s temple and deserves proper care. Renewed thoughts transformed my life and opened many new opportunities.
I wrote Forever Changed in partnership with First Place 4 Health in hopes that others will experience the same victories and transformation I’ve experienced.
What a great way to use your personal story to inspire and influence others! What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
My greatest challenge was threefold: Ensuring that I was teaching God’s Word accurately, that the study flowed well, and that the personal application questions I provided would truly enable participants to apply the Word to their own lives.
What themes would you say you return to again and again in your writing?
I’ve written several devotionals published by Harvest House. I’m also a regular contributor to the Guideposts 365-day devotional Mornings with Jesus. As a devotional writer, my main recurring theme would be the importance of applying God’s Word. We can read it, hear it preached, study it, and sing about it all for naught unless we do what it says. Fear and pride often get in the way, but wow—when we choose to walk in obedience, everything changes for our good.
Another recurring theme is the need to align our thoughts with God’s thoughts. Our thoughts are so short-sighted compared to His. For example, imagine how differently we’d respond to hardship if we could view it as He does from an eternal perspective. We’d never again grumble or lose heart over difficulties. Imagine how courage and confidence would replace fear if we truly grasped His promise to never leave or forsake us.
What would be your ideal writing place? And what’s your actual writing place like?
I’d love to have an office with bookshelves along one full wall. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a set of French doors would grace the opposite wall. The French doors would open onto a patio surrounded by wildflowers. My desk would face the windows so I could enjoy the view. A third wall would feature a gas fireplace to warm the room on rainy days. And against the fourth wall would be a kitchen counter complete with a coffee pot and mugs. The colors in that room would be mostly teal and white.
In reality, I live on a 48-foot sailboat that’s moored in a British Columbian marina. I write on a laptop computer that sits on a four-foot desk directly below the boat’s control panel. There’s enough room on that wall to hold a plaque on which an abbreviated version of Psalm 23 is written. A nearby shelf holds 24 books that are strapped in place. On warm days, I sometimes take my laptop outside and write while sitting in the vessel’s cockpit.
I’m pretty sure your real writing place would qualify as a dream for many of us! What ministries are you involved in, and why?
In 2007, a USA-based mission organization—International Messengers—contacted my husband and me and asked us to launch its Canadian office. We’d been missionaries in Nepal in the ’80s, and we’d worked at a year-round Christian camp from 1996-2007, so we were well familiar with career missions and said yes to this new opportunity.
Our interdenominational organization is a sending agency that serves 200 missionaries in 25 countries. We recruit, train, and lead volunteer teams to host evangelistic English-learning family camps in Eastern Europe every summer. As part of my role, I’ve taught missionaries-in-training in the Middle East and trained pastors and church leaders in Nepal.
And what are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I’ve learned to enjoy working out at a local gym several times a week. When my schedule doesn’t allow gym time, I walk for exercise. I also enjoy photography, motorcycle riding with my husband, traveling internationally for ministry, and spending time with friends and family. Of all the “hats” I wear, I enjoy my “grandma” hat the most. I have seven grandkids ages 1-10 with another one due on January 1. How sweet is that?
Very sweet, and although I only have one grandbaby so far, I agree with you about that hat! Thanks so much for sharing with our readers today.
For His glory,